Exercise eases low back pain

Americans spend an estimated $50 billion every year on low back pain and, according to the National Institute of Health, exercise is one of the most successful remedies. Back pain is now the second most common neurological ailment, only beat by headaches, and a study from McGill University in Montreal finds that chronic back pain could alter brain function. The study discovered that blood flow patterns changed in those with chronic back pain and that could have an adverse effect on cognitive ability.

Exercise helped ease Martha Moreland's, a retired school teacher, low back pain. She said, "it worked wonders for my back."

Thanks to core strengthening workout with her trainer Chase Gary, fitness specialist at Dynamic Dimensions, Marsh dropped four dress sizes and banished the back pain.

"We always make sure especially if there's any back pain that we start slow and that we make sure we can control the lower back while trying to stabilize the abdominal region," explained Gary.

He added that a sedentary lifestyle, low flexibility and weak core strength could worsen low back pain symptoms. Gary recommends starting each workout with a low-impact warm up and stretching. He said back pain does not just stem from poor abdominal strength.

"We focus a lot on core exercise when we're worried about our lower back. People tend to forget that any exercise can help," said Gary.

He said some exercises could aggravate the low back problem such as full sit-ups, toe-touches and any stretch that requires arching of the back.

Moreland is hoping to lose even more inches and keep her back pain at bay. Gary recommends consulting a doctor if you experience low back pain before trying any exercises.

Copyright 2011 KPLC. All rights reserved.